Instantly Creating or Destroying Rapport
Several studies and common sense both suggest that body language is far more powerful and effective in communication than the words we say. Body Language is guilty of conveying upwards of 93% of the information in face-to-face communication and is far more effective at communicating emotion than are words.
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of course, the words we choose are important and can even help to tap into deeper levels of connection (thinking sensory modalities); however, the person you are communicating with may not stay around long enough if your body language is not comfortable.
The art of reflecting back to the other person themselves. Ultimately, people do business with people they know, like, trust, and value. And, they’ve been with themselves their entire lives, so they know, like, and trust themselves the most.
Open and Closed Posture
Two forms of posture have been identified, ‘open’ and ‘closed’, which may reflect an individual’s degree of confidence, status or receptivity to another person.
Someone seated in a closed position might have his/her arms folded, legs crossed or are positioned at a slight angle from the person with whom they are interacting. In an open posture, you might expect to see someone directly facing you with hands apart on the arms of the chair. An open posture can be used to communicate openness or interest in someone and a readiness to listen, whereas the closed posture might imply discomfort or disinterest.
You can learn a lot from a handshake including things like dominance, confidence, skin care regimen; however, what you learn most is that everyone has a different concept of what a good handshake should be. From mirror matching above, how do you believe you should shake hands now?
That’s right, it is generally super helpful to shake hands just like the other person. To find out how they shake, firmly interlock the webs of your shaking hands with your pointer finger on the inside of their wrist firmly and gently begin to shake. They will believe the handshake has begun and your role is to simply provide equal and opposite force.
Authenticity is key when it comes to facial expressions. Make sure you are generally upbeat and positive, yet not over the top. Our brains are so advanced that they can typically decipher a fake smile from and genuine smile and a smirk with a real grin. In fact, it only takes our microprocessors about 1/25th of a second to determine your mood.
So, how do you fake it when you’re having a bad day? Find something to be happy about…not happy? Find something to be grateful about. Not grateful? There’s plenty to be grateful for even if it is the very breath you are taking right now. (Sidebar note: consider keeping a gratitude journal of all the things you could be grateful for.)
How should you dress? In keeping with the theme here and the real world, dressing to impress is a myth. Impressed people don’t necessarily make great customers. There are a lot of emotions tied to appearances; however, if you’ll agree that people do business with people they know, like, trust, and value then you’ll understand that appearance is also mirror matching. Exception: We have our expectations of how certain professions appear all the time. For example, if you were going into the Emergency Room, you’d probably expect the medical staff to be in scrubs.
Generally speaking, I dress exactly like my prospects. I may call ahead or find our from whoever has referred me. I may even research on social media or drive by the office.